The Swiss have just done a study and collected data on a small (less than 4 square centimeters) solar cell that was placed just under the skin. Over the summer and winter months, this small cell created enough energy to power a typical pacemaker.
More data and studies will have to be done to determine just how much sunlight certain implants will need, but the idea itself is extraordinary. Now, instead of having to go under surgery every few years to replace batteries, a solar cell will recharge the battery instead. This is a win-win situation. Medical bills for having to periodically replace the implanted batteries are eliminated and it takes out the worry of potential complications from surgery because there won’t be multiple ones.
In addition, the size of the implant will also be reduced. As almost all implants today are battery powered, the size of the implant is determined by the battery size. If we are able to power implants from a solar source and all that is requires is getting some sunlight then that size goes down.
Solar power already has us taking steps toward saving the planet and making it a healthier and cleaner place to live. In the future, we might be looking to solar power to save and keep us healthy as well.